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Honey Pot Husborne Crawley

Honey Pot shown in green
Honey Pot shown in green

In 1970 Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service staff carried out research on a number of fields belonging to Woburn Experimental Farm in Husborne Crawley. This seems to have been prompted by an enquiry from The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Plant Pathology Laboratory about Workhouse Field.

Research on Honey Pot [CRT130HusborneCrawley2] revealed that in 1760 [R1/42] the ground was occupied by part of thirteen strips and a headland of Dry Mead Bushes. This was termed Midsummer land, in other words permanent pasture preserved either for hay or for tethering beasts owned by people with the necessary rights until Midsummer Day when the pasture became common.

When Husborne Crawley was inclosed in 1799 [MA75] the land formed part of the seventh allotment to the Duke of Bedford and by 1820 [R1/43] it had become a fully inclosed field called Dry Mead Bushes.

Cropping books forming part of the estate archive of the Duke of Bedford [R4/209, 215, 223 and 229] show that in 1866 the field comprised 3 acres, 1 rood, 24 poles. Cropping was as follows:

  • 1866: mown for hay;
  • 1867: grazed;
  • 1868-1875: hay;
  • 1876-1877: grazed;
  • 1878-1879: hay;
  • 1880-1881: grazed;
  • 1882-1885: hay;
  • 1886: grazed;
  • 1887: hay;
  • 1888; grazed;
  • 1889-1891: hay;
  • 1892: grazed;
  • 1893: hay;
  • 1894: grazed;
  • 1895-1897: hay;
  • 1898: grazed;
  • 1899: hay;
  • 1900: grazed;
  • 1901: hay;
  • 1902: grazed;
  • 1903: hay;
  • 1904: grazed;
  • 1905: hay;
  • 1906: grazed;
  • 1907: hay;
  • 1908: grazed;
  • 1909: hay.